Skip to main content Skip to main content

Staff Bios

Alex McDaniel portrait

Alex McDaniel | Associate Director of Instructional Design

A former decorated US Army Military Intelligence Noncommissioned Officer who, after graduating from Basic Combat Training, Defensive Language Institute (Presidio of Monterey), and the Electronic Warfare Signals Intelligence Programs, spent most of his military career overseas, Alex McDaniel earned his BS in Organizational Communication from MSU Denver, his MA in Instructional Design and Adult Learning from the University of Colorado Denver. Alex has more than 20 years of professional instructional design and leadership experience and currently supports MSU Denver as the Associate Director of Instructional Design. Alex has also developed and taught numerous face-to-face and online courses including: Instructional Design Thinking (EDT-2050), Games, Applications, and Instructional Interaction (EDT-3050), Intermediate Interactive Production (COM-3450), and Producing Digital Documents (COM-3630).

Since 2005, Alex McDaniel has worked with individual faculty members to create and improve hundreds of online, hybrid and face-to-face courses. After watching a speech from Sal Khan (of Khan Academy) in 2012 about the power of open instructional resources and platforms, Alex began a deep investigation of OERs, including mastering so many subjects offered via Khan Academy that he became one of the few people in the world to earn a Black Hole Badge. Throughout this time, Alex actively sought ways to infuse OERs into course design processes in order to maximize student learning and make each learning opportunity more affordable for Colorado students. In his current role as Associate Director of Instructional Design, he has worked with his team to increase the overall adoption and creation of OERs within the design of online and hybrid courses at MSU Denver, resulting in saving students hundreds of thousands of dollars and dramatically increased access to students who might have otherwise been excluded from continuing their education.

Recent awards include MSU Denver Extraordinary Service Award, Roadrunner’s Who Soar Award, eLCC's Learning Technologist of the Year, Blackboard Catalyst, and the Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice.

Special Skills:

  • Languages: English, Korean, American Sign Language
  • Expert project management, comprehensive knowledge of online education pedagogy, andragogy and best practices
  • Certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and Program Coordinator, and ELITE certification
  • System administration of various learning management systems including Blackboard Learn, Moodle, Canvas, as well as expertise in HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, Javascript, Actionscript, VB, and database development, queries, management, and analysis



Todd Wolfe | Instructional Media Manager

Todd Wolfe is an experienced instructional media developer and manager who came to instructional design by way of degrees in video production and writing. It was through many years of higher education that he developed an interest in teaching and designing courses. He has worked for museums and universities and loves empowering both teachers and students to further their education and career opportunities. He enjoys solving the complex challenges of the 21st century educational landscape, especially when it comes to digital technologies and content delivery.

Todd Wolfe earned an AS in Video Production from the Art Institute of Colorado, a BA in Creating Writing from Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a MA in Rhetoric and Teaching Writing from the University of Colorado Denver. He is also certified in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). He has taught Web programming, writing for social media, English composition, and most recently, instructional media.

Special Skills:

  • Video studio production
  • Adobe Suite, especially Premiere, After Effects, Audition, Photoshop
  • Certified Quality Matters Peer Reviewer and Program Coordinator, and ELITE certification
  • Webmaster

Portrait of Fatiman Alebrahim

Fatimah Alebrahim, Ph.D | Instructional Designer

Fatimah is an experienced and knowledgeable Junior Course Developer. She became a Junior Instructional Developer at Metropolitan State University in 2019. Since then, she has enjoyed meeting with faculty to design courses, which requires her to be familiar with their teaching methods and offer them best instructional design practices.She has an extensive background as an affiliate faculty member and researcher. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, a doctorate and a master’s in Educational Technology, with a minor in Applied Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Northern Colorado.

Fatimah taught in the Educational Technology department as a teaching assistant and Applied Statistics and Research Methods department as an affiliate faculty. She has taught include Introduction to Graduate Research, Instructional Design Theory and Research, Design Distance Learning Environment.

Fatimah has received the Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Dissertation award and the department of Educational Technology award for academic excellence. She was also nominated for an Inspiring Women’s Award at the Women’s Resources Center & Stryker Institute for Leadership Development. Fatimah really loves getting to know each faculty member that she works with. She enjoys learning about their teaching styles and inspirations throughout various fields of study, and designs courses that represent the heart of each faculty member that she works with at MSU Denver.

Special Skills:

  • Skilled in applying Instructional design theories and modules (ADDIE, SAM, and Backward design)
  • Technical support and training experience with Canvas and Blackboard
  • Quality Matters Certified
  • Basic knowledge of HTML coding
  • Graphic design in an instructional design context (e.g, Banners, Infographics, Posters)
  • Bilingual in Arabic and English. Basic in Farsi and French.

Emily Van Buren portrait

Emily Van Buren | Instructional Designer

Emily is a lifelong learner who has pursued instructional design to combine her love of education with her technical expertise. She has a Bachelor of Science in Technical Communications from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver). Through that program, she gained experience in copywriting, technical editing, graphic design, video production, animation, and web/HTML development. Upon completing this program, Emily knew that she wanted to do something meaningful and enjoyable with these skills. This moment was when instructional design entered the equation.

Emily joined the CTLD as a student employee in 2018. She spent her first year working diligently under the guidance and mentorship of the best instructional designers at MSU Denver. This year provided the perfect opportunity to learn about many instructional design theories and models with relation to their application in higher education. During this time, she created banners and other visual elements, wrote HTML content, and developed formative activities alongside instructional designers. She even took on an innovative project in collaboration with other student employees and the Instructional Media team to create an interactive learning scenario, backed by Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle. Emily then moved into the Junior Course Developer role and began leading various course development projects alongside her colleagues and MSU Denver faculty. As a lover of learning and an MSU Denver alumna, Emily is dedicated to working with faculty to develop and enhance their learning experiences.

Special Skills:

  • Technical Writing/Editing
  • Video Editing
  • HTML
  • Project Management
  • Quality Matters Certified

Craig Ibarguen Portrait

Craig Ibarguen | Instructional Designer

Craig Ibargüen has over 10 years of experience working as an instructional designer in higher education and in the corporate world. Before joining MSU Denver, he worked as an instructional designer for Pearson for six and a half years, largely designing online courses for colleges and universities. Craig also has extensive experience as an instructional designer for corporate training, including stints as an ID in the telecommunications and financial industries.

Before becoming an instructional designer, Craig was an assistant professor at Pikes Peak Community College for four years, teaching introductory writing, argumentative writing, introduction to literature, and introduction to film courses.

Craig has a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of New Mexico and a Bachelor of Science from Weber State University.

Special Skills:

  • Writing and editing
  • Course development in learning management systems
  • Content authoring tools (Adobe Suite, Camtasia, Articulate)
  • HTML5 and CSS
  • Audio editing

Nick Ogg

Nick Ogg | Junior Instructional Media Developer

Nick’s introduction to instructional design took a circuitous path, as his career started out in the restaurant and bar world, where one of his first jobs was working as a dishwasher in a little restaurant in his college town back in Ohio. Never really finding his academic path, Nick dropped out of college and focused on working his way up to manage an assortment of restaurants throughout his 20s. In this career, Nick learned how to work with, manage, and lead a variety of people while developing skills in time management, multitasking, and communication.

After a decade of running restaurants, Nick chose to leave that career, took a less time-demanding bartending job, and returned to school at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he studied Video Production in the Journalism and Media Production program. It was during the final year of these studies, that Nick took a job with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Design (CTLD) at MSU Denver as a student employee. In this role, he was able to get hands-on experience working with faculty to develop an array of media for all types of online courses. He was also able to begin learning the ins-and-outs of the lesser-known world that is Instructional Design.

Upon completion of his B.S. in Video Production in May of 2019, Nick was hired as a full-time Junior Media Developer at the expanding CTLD. In this role, he collaborates with faculty in the department’s production studio, complete with a green screen and soundbooth, in order to create professional-quality video lectures, voiceovers, demonstrations, interviews, and anything else that his collaborators can think up.

Special Skills:

  • Adobe Suite including:
    • Premiere Pro
    • After Effects
    • Audition
    • Photoshop
    • Illustrator
  • Video studio production
  • QM Peer Reviewer

Nathaniel Easley II portrait

Nathaniel Easley III | Junior Instructional Media Developer

Nate Easley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organization and Innovation Management with a minor in Music Performance from Colorado State University. After College, Nate worked as a high school teacher/mentor for inner city youth in the Denver Public School system. After several years, Nate decided to move to South America, where he studied cinematography and started a small production company. He produced projects that reached over 300,000 people and participated in the production of projects that reached millions. Over the span of 10 years in South America, Nate taught business, english, music and audio visual production. He also worked with non profit organizations to provide audiovisual service and training to hundreds of people.

In 2019, Nate moved back to the United States and began his career as a Junior Media Developer at Metropolitan State University. Nate has combined his passion for education and audiovisual production in order to create innovative instructional multimedia. He is certified in Quality Matters (QM), proficient in industry-standard video special effects tools (Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Lightroom, e.g.), knowledgeable of federal and state law related to usability and accessibility (ADA Section 508), and has experience working with Blackboard and Canvas learning management systems. Nate is also fluent in Spanish and English.

Special Skills:

  • Video studio production
  • Adobe Suite (Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, Lightroom), Final Cut
  • Music Production & Composition
  • Fluent in Spanish & English


Abby Kerr | Junior Course Developer

Abby’s focus has always been people, her undergraduate degrees are in anthropology and psychology from Texas State University- San Marcos. Her experiences in her undergraduate degree programs gave her an understanding of how to design while considering inclusivity and individual learning preferences. She also holds a postgraduate certificate in International Nonprofit Management from Humber College in Toronto, Canada. Previous experience included living in Tanzania where she worked on setting up a micro-lending program and creating Montessori training manuals for remote communities for a grassroots organization. These adventures grounded her in concepts of training techniques and how to incorporate competency-based skill sets into her designs. In addition, she has worked as a personal assistant, which nurtured her ability to work in an ever changing fast paced environment.

Her master's degree is in Learning Design and Technology from The University of Colorado at Denver. During this program she was able to start applying her amalgamation of skills into a more linear career path. Her favorite learning techniques to employ while designing are, project based courses, assignments that incorporate group work, asynchronous discussions and effective synchronous virtual facilitation.

Special Skills:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • QM Peer Review Certification
  • Interactivity and Collaboration Strategies


Rachel Ryan | Junior Course Developer

Rachel received her undergraduate degree in Educational Foundations from the University of Oregon in 2011. Upon graduation, she joined Teach For America as a corp member and taught high school special education and mathematics outside the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Rachel’s experience in New Mexico taught her about culturally relevant pedagogy, equity, and access and instilled in her a desire to expand learning opportunities for marginalized communities. After a few years in the dusty desert and in need of a fresh start, Rachel moved to Boston and continued teaching. It was during this time that she started coaching first-year teachers as they prepared for the classroom.

In 2015, Rachel returned to school to pursue her growing interest in adult learning and education. She attended Harvard Graduate School in Education where she received her master’s degree in Learning and Teaching with a focus in Instructional Leadership. Rachel completed coursework in adult and group learning, research-based best practices, facilitation, design thinking, and organizational learning. She also had the opportunity to partner with educators abroad to design and implement professional development. In 2016, Rachel moved to Denver and continued to teach and work part-time with adult learners as a facilitator and education consultant. It was while working for a company that partners with universities to design and launch online degree programs that Rachel became passionate about instructional design in the higher education space. Online learning offered her the chance to use technology to expand access for students, and higher education paired well with her experience working with adult learners. She is grateful for the opportunity to work as a Junior Course Developer for the CTLD at MSU Denver.

Special Skills:

  • Experienced curriculum and training designer
  • Well-versed in facilitation and with facilitation protocols
  • Strong desire to continuously learn and develop
  • Adaptable and flexible with new technologies
  • Familiar with HTML5 and content authoring tools


Chelsea Dyer | Junior Course Developer

Chelsea graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Secondary Education. As an undergrad, Chelsea wrote a thesis titled “Teaching English Learners in Mainstream Classrooms” in order to earn a secondary diploma from the UAH Honors College. While doing research about teaching English as a second language, Chelsea found her passion in making education accessible for a broad range of people. Chelsea then decided to expand her abilities in teaching the English language by earning a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge. After earning her CELTA, Chelsea taught seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts before deciding she wanted to expand her reach beyond the physical classroom. She started teaching online English as a Second Language courses for a private language company in China. In this role, Chelsea realized the full benefits and positive effects that eLearning brings about. She even developed and maintained a profitable affiliate website of the company in order to market their services, recruit other teachers, and teach those teachers how to get started in the company. In her three years as a remote ESL teacher, she joined her company’s Product Advisory Council and Curriculum Development teams where she worked with teachers and staff from the U.S. office and China office to develop supplementary course tracks, which sparked her interest in working with educational technology and thinking through the design process of online learning.

After spending the early years of her career as a teacher, Chelsea wanted to make a positive impact on even more people. She started working as a technical support analyst for an educational technology company in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she supported instructors and students from across the globe in using a learning management system that hosted world language courses. In this role, Chelsea saw just how far technology could help educators reach. While in this position, Chelsea began pursuing her master’s degree in Career and Technical Education with a concentration in eLearning Design and Development from Athens State University. She felt that, while she had a good grasp on the academic side of learning, she needed to push herself to learn more about the technical and workforce side of education. Chelsea has always had a desire to learn about topics and ideas that are beyond her normal scope, so when she found an opening as a Junior Course Developer at MSU Denver, she knew she had to join the team. Since joining the team, she has helped design fifteen courses, earned her Quality Matters Peer Reviewer certificate, and facilitated university-wide presentations for the ACT-20 program during Summer 2020. Becoming a course developer has been a perfect opportunity for her to combine everything she has enjoyed from her previous roles: developing online courses alongside instructors, positively impacting a broad range of students, and learning all kinds of amazing content through the diverse courses she designs.

Special Skills:

  • ESL Education
  • Principles of Adult Learning
  • Web Content Optimization

Lindsey Scheiber staff photo

Lindsey Schreiber | Junior Course Developer

Lindsey Schreiber is an experienced instructor of art and art history in higher education fields who discovered in the field of instructional design the answer to her desire to make online learning more effective and enjoyable for her students. Though a teacher since 2008, she moved into the online classroom in 2011 and quickly realized both the potential and frustrations of teaching online. While teaching for a variety of colleges and universities across Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, she strove to continually research and implement better methods of assessment, engagement, and presentation within her courses. She enjoys discovering and testing out new educational technologies and software that improve student interaction and solve the challenges of online instruction. Courses taught include Art Appreciation, a multi-term survey of Global Art History, and upper-division, writing-intensive courses, including Power and Patronage in Renaissance Italy, Costume and Identity in Renaissance Europe, Bold and Baroque Palaces of Europe, and Death and Dying in Visual Culture.

Lindsey Schreiber earned a BA in Fine Art and Entrepreneurial Business from Oregon State University and an MA in Art History from the University of Oregon. She is also a PhD candidate in Art History at Temple University in Philadelphia and recently earned a graduate certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She has previously managed a library for creativity at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a quilt store.

Special Skills:

  • Flexible teaching in a variety of formats within higher education
  • Creativity and innovation in design
  • Research and writing
  • Visually critical thinking
  • Reading and writing in Spanish, French, Italian, and German

Michael Rupert Staff Photo

Michael Rupert | Junior Course Developer

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Michael has devoted much of his life to education and this great state. Michael first gained experience designing learning experiences while teaching for a science club called Science Matters in America, before deciding to pursue education at the university level. During his undergraduate career at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he studied history with a focus on colonialism in Africa, earning Latin honors for his thesis “La Grande Nation, The Revolutionary Tradition in French West Africa.” In addition to completing a history degree, Michael took classes with the school of education focusing on curriculum design, ultimately graduating summa cum laude with a B.A. in history and a secondary social studies teaching license. It was here at the CU school of education that he gained a foundation for the practice of instructional design. After teaching social studies in a public school setting for a brief time, he shifted his educational pursuits to the museum field, where he worked as a Docent for Historic Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum, as well as a trainer for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, continuing to design learning experiences. During this time, Michael found a desire to gain a more solid foundation and framework for the practice of instructional design, and continued his education by completing a M.Ed. in instructional design and technology from the University of Southern California. Upon completing his M.Ed. he was hired by the Center for Teaching Learning and Design at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he currently works as a junior course developer, allowing him to apply his knowledge, education, and experience to create effective courses for the university.

In addition to his educational experience, Michael loves to cook and worked as a cook at several restaurants, has taken sommelier classes at L’Ecole Du Vin in Bordeaux, France, and is proficient in American Sign Language. Michael hopes to continue his education while at MSU Denver, by completing certificates through the culinary, brewing, or urban agriculture programs. He loves the mountains, hiking, the Denver Broncos and everything else in the great state of Colorado!

Special Skills:

  • In depth familiarity with major instructional design models including SAM and ADDIE
  • Well versed in the practice and theory of Social Studies/ Civics education
  • Proficient with course building tools including Articulate Suite and Adobe Captivate
  • Proficient in American Sign Language
  • Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS

 Laura Berryman staff photo

Laura Berryman | Junior Course Developer

Laura Berryman is an experienced science teacher who is excited to be pursuing a career in instructional design. Laura graduated with High Distinction from UC Berkeley, where she majored in Physics and minored in Nuclear Engineering. She also took courses in subjects such as Mathematics, Computer Science, Materials Engineering, Biology, Cognitive Science, Japanese, and Education. During her time in college, she presented interactive planetarium shows at the Lawrence Hall of Science, which sparked an interest in creating engaging educational opportunities. She decided to pursue a career in education and has taught both math and science at the secondary level. As a teacher, she was able to see the incredible impact that a well-designed lesson can have on a student’s interest and success. In particular, she noticed the effects of lesson alignment, active learning, class community, differentiation, and technology. She became committed to crafting exceptionally engaging and effective lessons for her students.

To learn more about instructional design, Laura began pursuing a master’s degree in Learning Design & Technology (LDT) from CU Denver. She also started working with the CU Denver LDT Student Agency to design courses and provide individualized support to faculty members. For example, she has helped produce a Canvas course about best practices for humanizing online education, and she has worked with instructors to write code and select ideal digital tools to create an interactive and visually appealing course. Laura started working with the CTLD to help implement best practices for online education, as part of her larger goal to help improve the quality and accessibility of an education for everyone.

Special Skills:

  • Experience teaching and learning in face-to-face, blended, and fully online environments
  • Coding experience in languages such as Python, MATLAB, and HTML
  • Scientific computing and data analysis skills
  • Creativity, adaptability, and tenacity


Jess Gagnon | Junior Course Developer

A love of books and the written word inspired Jessica to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. This degree led her to her first professional job - library assistant at a university, which spurred her pursuit of a Master of Library and Information Science degree. After spending a few years in libraries, Jessica realized her passion involved connecting learners to information in a more deliberate and structured way. Thus she found her way to earning a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology degree, quickly followed up by a Certificate in Information Accessibility Design and Policy. She is a certified QM Peer Reviewer, and served on the QM Instructional Design leadership team.

Her professional experience includes: Reference and Instruction Librarian at a community college; Librarian at a private K-8 school; Instructional Designer at a technical college; eLearning Technologist in a community college system; LMS Administrator at a community college; and online teaching at the undergraduate level (English I; Intro to Literature; Web Design; Intro to Graphic Design; Intro to Multimedia). All of these careers and experiences help Jessica look at the design process from a learner’s perspective.

Special Skills:

  • Finding quality resources
  • Inclusive teaching practices
  • Creating and facilitating engaging discussions


Tanner Wilde | Instructional Design Support Specialist

Tanner Wilde is an Instructional Design Support Specialist who started with CTLD as a student employee. Shortly after starting, he helped establish the Virtual Support room for instructors transitioning to Canvas, MS Teams, and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, after joining the team full time as a Support Specialist, he continues to work with instructors and improve CTLD’s suite of tutorials and other resources for online learning.

Special Skills:

  • In-depth knowledge of online learning software, such as Canvas, Teams, and Yuja
  • Virtual meeting and communication
  • Instructional content development
  • Technical support

Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo | Instructional Design Support Specialist

Jennifer provides instructional design support at MSU Denver, assisting faculty with issues involving Canvas, MS Teams, and Yuja. As a former marketing lecturer for Regis University, as well as a business consultant and trainer, Jennifer has spent the past ten years developing and teaching courses and workshops for in-person and online learning. Throughout this time, she has grown to love the instructional design side of course development and is currently enrolled in a graduate certificate program at CU Denver to expand her knowledge of instructional design. Jennifer earned her BA in English from California State University of Sacramento and her MBA with a marketing emphasis from Regis University. She is a passionate advocate of inclusivity and representation in higher education.

Special Skills:

  • Troubleshooting learning management systems, including Canvas and Desire2Learn
  • Developing and teaching online and in-person undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Incorporating technology into course development to increase engagement
  • Using and explaining remote-learning tools, such as MS Teams and content-sharing sites

Edit this page